Friday, April 09, 2010

The Lack Thereof

Tonight was all about the pitching, or lack thereof, at Citi Field in Queens.

Despite his belief he can pitch to contact, Garrett Mock nibbled around the plate all night. And got nowhere.

Miguel Batista relieved him and continued to give up important runs in a close game.

If not for a strong wind blowing in--Jason Bergmann would have allowed a long home run to The Mets David Wright. Instead Our Number 57 allowed a double and an eventual game distancing run scored.

Rookie Jesse English pitched to one New York batter. Of course, he was charged a run.

And Tyler Walker just added fuel to the fire with one of those innings that get so far out of hand--Our Manager is going to keep the big righthander in the game because everything is lost now and Jim Riggleman wants to save the back end of his bullpen for tomorrow's needs. Walker allowing three runs on five hits in 1.1 innings.

Eight runs, six walks and 12 hits allowed by Washington's pitchers this chilly night in New York City.

The lack of pitching negated any positive movement by Our Washington Nationals this evening. Ian Desmond may well have put D.C.'s team in the lead early with an electrifying triple to leftfield past a diving Jason Bay in the top of the second scoring Pudge Rodriguez and Adam Dunn, but four home runs allowed by Washington (two apiece from Jeff Francouer and Rod Barajas) and the inability of starter Mock to pitch aggressively--put any chances of the second Curly "W" of 2010--well out of reach.

More painful was watching the 20-Year Mets' Phenom, Jennry Mejia, mow right through all three Washington batters he faced to close out this game in the 9th. Mejia pitched with the determination that comes from knowing you can succeed. Something each and every hurler wearing Washington's Jersey this evening--failed to grasp.

Final Score from Citi Field where not having the command of their pitches cost every single pitcher Jim Riggleman sent to the mound tonight--The New York Mets 8 and Our Washington Nationals 2. Defeat number three in the four games played in 2010 continued a concerning trend. The numbers: 11, 8, 5 & 8--32 runs allowed since last Monday's Opener at Nationals Park. An average of eight runs per game that will not, on most nights, give ANY team much of a chance to win.

Just like every single game played in Major League Baseball--the outcome almost always surrounds the pitching. Tonight at Citi Field in Queens, the lack thereof displayed on the behalf of Washington's hurlers--was noticed. Too many opposing baserunners, too many walks and too little pitching to our players own strengths.

Not one pitched with confidence. That was the ball game.

PS--Two Uniform Notes from tonight's first away game of 2010:

The Red Sleeves & Socks now worn replacing Navy Blue look significantly better with the Curly "W" Script Washington Gray Away Jersey. We still believe the Blue Cap should sport a Red Curly "W" (not white) though to finish the look.

If you were watching on TV, Pudge Rodriguez wore a Red Catching Helmet below his mask while in the field--not Navy Blue to go with the caps worn by all of his teammates. We found that interesting.

Mock In-Game Photo--Mike Stobe--Getty Images
TV Shots Off MASN--by Nats320


Mr. NATural said...

Hey 320,

Very good commentary on our pitching. I think we've got some good news and some bad news:

The good news is it looks like the Nats are going to react to lousy pitching performances much (MUCH) faster than they did in 2008 or 2009. Remember disaster after disaster last year, sticking with Hanrahan and all the poor performers in the bullpen, with the Nats' leadership just hoping they'd get better somehow?

The bad news is I think much of the optimism on pitching, expressed during the off-season, was based on a false comparison:

- The Nats compared the prospective performance of our new pitchers relative to the performance of our pitchers LAST YEAR. The measure that should have been used, of course, was the historic performance of all these pitchers in WINNING BASEBALL GAMES.

Obviously, a staff could be ten times better than our staff last year, and still lose games every night. This is the problem of the false comparison.

Mr. NATural

Mr. NATural said...

And now for a...totally side-bar question:

As I watched a few of the Openers, it struck me that some teams had "Opening Week" logos printed on their foul-territory grass areas(including the Nats of course) and other teams had "Opening Day."

I strongly prefer "Opening Day." Do you know why some teams have one logo and other teams have another?

Mr. NATural

Screech's Best Friend said...

My understanding is that "Opening Week" is MLB's Initiative and every team must follow. "Opening Day" would be a local addition that was probably asked for and approved by MLB--but I am just guessing on that.

I would prefer "Opening Day" as well.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Do you know why some teams have one logo and other teams have another?

So that fans who don't attend the first game but do attend other games in the opening homestand feel as if they aren't missing anything.

Calle Real N20 said...

Just noticed your comments about the away uniform hats in this post. I submitted this comment under the Dunn post from yesterday but it's more appropriate here.

I'm with you in advocating a red 'curly W' on the Navy away hat instead of the current white. It would go really well with the new red stockings and sleeves, and would be more in keeping with the travel look.

But how about going further and lobby decision makers to also lose the gold trim around the back number and the 'DC' on the left sleeve?

The gold looks great on all the other Nats uniform versions but appears drab against the gray travel jerseys. And it's inconsistent with the rest of the trim.

Instead, replace it with the same white/navy trim that now appears on the "Washington" script, the front number and the player's name.

The new trim would not only make the jersey consistent, numbers and names would really pop!

With their red numbers and navy only trim, the current LA Angels' away uniforms model the consistency that would be achieved. But the new Nats grays would trump them being both consistent and brighter, and would be one of the top travel uniforms in baseball.